Hyderabad: Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are eagerly awaiting the Union Budget to be presented by the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Parliament on February 1. Both state governments have high hopes of at least some of their long-pending issues being addressed by the Central government in this annual exercise.
If the speculations about the early elections come true, this will be the last full budget of the National Democratic Alliance government. Next year the NDA will present only a Vote on Account for 2019-20.
If the Bharatiya Janata Party wants to make gains or retain its position, it will have to concentrate on the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Both governments feel that the BJP will have to rely on the ruling parties, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi and the Telugu Desam, to retain power at the Centre and so they are hoping the it will resolve some of their pending issues.
In the last three-and-a-half years, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and Andhra Pradesh’s Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu have met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and various Central ministers several times and requested financial aid and resolution of pending issues. The Central government has resolved some issues but many still remain, most crucially for both states, the implementation of the financial package.
A financial package for AP has been announced in lieu of special status. The TS government wants special status for TS and a special financial package.
The TS government also wants the Centre to declare Kaleswaram as a national project, and provide financial assistance to Mission Bhagiradha and Mission Kakatiya. It also wants SC categorisation and reservations for minorities.
The main demands of the AP government are more funding for the Polavaram project, sanctioning of national institutions and liberal fund allocation to institutes already sanctioned by the Centre. About 20 important issues relating to power, coal, gas, environment etc are pending with the Centre.
Many assurances given by the Centre in the AP Reorganisation Act have not been fulfilled. Both state governments also expect a decision on delimitation of assembly constituencies during this parliamentary session....